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SBIR Phase I: Interactive 3-D Technical Illustrations for Science and…

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Arqball LLC
227 Monte Vista Avenue Charlottesville, VA 22903-4118
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: SBIR Phase I: Interactive 3-D Technical Illustrations for Science and Engineering
Agency: NSF
Contract: 1142829
Award Amount: $149,553.00


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop and commercialize tools for creating and displaying interactive 3-D technical illustrations for STEM-related topics. This project takes a new approach to the problem by applying Image-Based Modeling and Rendering (IBMR) techniques which enable the creation of highly realistic digital 3-D scenes by processing and resampling images captured with a camera. In particular, the technology developed through this effort will enable a wide range of interactive 3-D visualizations that are currently poorly served by available video compression algorithms and 2-D vector-based animation tools. The first goal of the proposal is to develop methods and algorithms for capturing, compressing, and displaying these types of datasets. The second goal is to develop a prototype digital textbook chapter that will supplement a physics class on Optics. This chapter will include interactive modules explaining the basic theory of refraction, reflection, dispersion and diffraction, followed by applied lessons on how light is manipulated and measured by a modern camera and how the geometric and material properties of gemstones give rise to their rich appearance. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to develop technology that will transform the ~$8.7B market for education textbooks by replacing paper textbooks with digital versions. This transition is currently stalled because the majority of digital textbook providers are simply scanning the pages of existing textbooks. Although these "books beneath glass" are more portable and less expensive than their physical counterparts, they neglect the promising opportunity for truly interactive material. We believe this is largely due to the current lack of tools for creating and rendering the type of 3-D content that mobile devices have only recently become capable of processing. The technology developed through this project will generate business opportunities in direct content creation, consulting services, and licensing fees. The core technology will also have applications in the areas of cultural heritage, consumer marketing, and advertising.

Principal Investigator:

Michael Holroyd

Business Contact:

Michael Holroyd
Small Business Information at Submission:

Arqball LLC
227 Monte Vista Avenue Charlottesville, VA 22903-4118

EIN/Tax ID: 272193620
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No